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The month of March is always an eventful month for us at Sasha. While we celebrated International Women’s Day, the crème-de-la-crème of the Month was our gala event on “FAIR FASHION, SUSTAINABLE FASHION” at The park, Kolkata. The event also, launched our month-long initiative to highlight ‘Fair’ and ‘Sustainable’ fashion, featuring events like “Poila Boishakh”- the Bengali New Year, Fashion Revolution Week and Earth Day. This month we also visited our funding partners in Sweden and hosted the friends from Nepal. We also initiated our eye camps for our producers.
For Sasha, promoting Handloom and Craft is a movement of makers, of appreciators, of shoppers, of admirers – of anyone whose values match with our values of heritage, innovation, the leading edge, traditional, authentic, and entrepreneurial. This year, at Sasha, we embarked on a journey to promote the Sasha brand of clothing and accessories, a brand representative of the unique handprints of creative and talented artisans. The goals of this endeavour are to deepen the public’s understanding of fair and sustainable fashion; to create a dialogue around Fair Trade, Fashion, Sustainability, Crafts and the Consumer. Moreover, make handcrafted textiles and crafts more accessible to the citizens. In this context a Panel discussion on “FAIR FASHION, SUSTAINABLE FASHION” with eminent panelists was organized on 24th March followed by a documentary – “The true Cost” and a preview of clothes and accessories. The panelists (Santanu Das, Uma Prajapati, Paromita Banerjee and Anshu Arora) & moderator Ms Anjum Katyal enlightened the audience with their views. Mrs. Roopa Mehta in her welcome address shared SASHA’s mission and its’ commitment to Fair Trade, the overarching UN development goals, the engagement with Fair Trade and urgent need for proactive actions to prevent tragedies like Rana Plaza. Fair Trade has significant socio-economic impact and the consciousness that needs to evolve even more in order to make a change. Drinks and snacks were offered to the guests and some lively discussions between the designers, SASHA staff and guests took place.
As part of the global Fair Trade Movement and as a Guaranteed member of the World Fair Trade Organization, Sasha has been a keen implementer of the global campaign on “Fair Trade fosters decent work and gender equality”© WFTO. On 8th March, we organized a talk with noted filmmaker Arindam Sil at the store to interact with a diverse set of audience- artisans, craftswomen, campaigners, artistes, patrons, friends and colleagues. Topic of the discussion was "What are your fair chances at work?" The interactions were extremely animated and Mr. Sil enthused the audience with his experience in film-making and women’s contributions. He proudly shared that there are more women than men working in his production house. He previewed the first look of his upcoming film ‘Naked’. The main idea behind the short film is to educate women on the cyber crimes which are happening in the present generation. Everyone joined for tea and more interesting exchanges. WFTO members in Kolkata- CRC and EMA also joined us in the celebrations.
SSA is partnering with IM since 2015.IM is a development organization fighting and exposing poverty and exclusion. The organization was founded in 1938 and is currently working in five regions and twelve countries worldwide. Roopa Mehta and Sujata Goswami both visited the partners in their head quarters at Lund. The visit was intended to meet with key people at IM head quarters and discuss the present progress of the project. Key issues around present project were discussed including scope for expansion. The visit also, included exploration of Swedish and Scandinavian markets for home textiles, accessories and children’s products and understanding of Fair Trade markets and players in Sweden.
SSA organized training cum workshop at Little Flower, Raxaul under the IM project with the objective to specific inputs in the form of a product development to help organisations to improve, augment, supplement and create new designs and product ranges, as appropriate for specific markets. Designers, Sananda and Shyamala conducted the workshop & were well appreciated by the participants. The participants received one-on-one inputs as well ample scope to learn from each other.
A selected team of twelve members from different functional department, units, and artisan groups from Association for Craft Producers (ACP), Nepal visited Sasha for an exposure visit. This is part of their annual visit to Fair Trade partners in India to assist their members to learn from the visit. It is always a pleasure to receive the team from our neighboring country. Sasha facilitated the visit and helped plan the itinerary that included visit to Sasha producer group, Head office, Shop and other Fair Trade members like EMA and CRC.
A series of Eye check up camps were initiative under our EYE CARE INITIATIVE Programme for warehouse for staff members and artisans and community members of Self Help Handicraft Society & Tiljala Panchannagram Mahila Samity. SSA has partnered with MISSION FOR VISION (MFV) which is an NGO working to combat avoidable blindness. In partnership with 21 reputed centers in 14 states of India, A total of 70 patients were diagnosed where 12 were men. Among all the diagnosed persons 16 were prescribed for spectacles, among them Mission for Vision provided spectacles at low cost. The initiative was well received by participants. They have appreciated the effort of the visiting team from Mission for Vision for their cordial behavior and service.